godhouse (Paperback)

godhouse By Ruth Ellen Kocher Cover Image

godhouse (Paperback)


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Poems that consider the human body as a meeting place of the infinite and the mortal.
Starting with the idea that the human experience is the universe looking back at itself, godhouse takes the notion a few steps further by centering cosmology within a raced and gendered body. Ruth Ellen Kocher’s poems envision this body as a union of god and soul that, within our material world, encompasses love and hate, joy and despair. The body is a site of divine presence made mortal, electrified with the resonance of both the infinite and the human. In godhouse, we encounter the body as a site where the universe is made personal and celebratory, where the celestial endure the complications of flesh and friction forms between the glorious and the monstrous aspects of personhood.
Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of eight previous books: godhouse; Third Voice, winner of the PEN Open Book Award; Ending in Planes; Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun; domina Un/blued, which won the Dorset Prize and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award; One Girl Babylon, winner of the Green Rose Prize; When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering; and Desdemona’s Fire. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, MacDowell, and Yaddo and is a contributing editor at Poets & Writers Magazine. She is a distinguished professor of English at the University of Colorado.
Product Details ISBN: 9781632431165
ISBN-10: 1632431165
Publisher: Omnidawn
Publication Date: November 30th, 2023
Pages: 140
Godhouse reveals the gorgeously pitched trajectory of Kocher’s lyric powers and blazing intellect, where language beguilingly constellates and historizes and frees the body eternally into a vast monument. My admiration is boundless at how these poems transmit the hidden with elegance and brings to fore a complex tenderness I had not known I desired, ‘a viral expansion of light.’”
— Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man

“In godhouse, Kocher divines the multidimensional gods and monsters that live within us slipping between terror and beauty, beginnings and endings, what is found and what is lost, ‘nothing . . . and everything at once.’ Innovative in their paratactic shifts, pliable syntax, and surprising juxtapositions, these poems embrace the personal, mythical, historical, ecological, socio-political, and cosmological as lived, embodied experience.”
— Brenda Cárdenas, author of Boomerang

“Kocher’s devastating collection of poems, godhouse, prefigures grief in its emergence from ‘blunder’ and ‘nothing.’ Like Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man,’ the speaker in Kocher’s godhouse holds a knife in her teeth against a shadow world of hunter and hunted in which survival is necessarily mystical. Unnerved and unnerving these poems are a barbiturate gaze’s disinhibition through the tattered dystopia of an American life. Heady, emotional, and meticulously crafted, godhouse leaves no room for delusion in its blade, pointed right at whomever might pose a threat.”
— Dawn Lundy Martin, author of Good Stock Strange Blood